ISRAEL 🇮🇱 A senior Israeli sports and culture official said that the 2019 Eurovision song contest might not take place in Jerusalem, despite Israel winning the completion this year. Yossi Sharabi, director-general of the Culture and Sport Ministry, made the comments after being asked about the Argentine soccer team’s decision to pull out of an exhibition match with Israel because its venue was moved from Haifa to Jerusalem. Sharabi compared Argentina’s decision to a “terror attack.”
“Eurovision in Jerusalem? It isn’t at all a given,” Sharabi told the Sports 5 channel. “It’s early to talk about this. Everybody wants it to be in Jerusalem. But there could well be other considerations.”
That would involve some logistical complications, one being that Jerusalem and the venue would be violating Shabbat, the Jewish day of rest, and it has already provoked some opposition in ultra-Orthodox circles. Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman, himself ultra-Orthodox, already warned that Jerusalem could find itself breaking the Sabbath.
There are also the political and security aspects, as Jerusalem is tightly associated with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which could arouse opposition among the nations participating in the Eurovision.